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NFL roundup: League seizes $13.6 millon in illegal merchandise

The SportsXchange

The NFL has seized a record $13.6 million worth of counterfeit merchandise this season through a nationwide sting effort called "Operation Red Zone," the league announced Thursday.

In cooperation with government officials, the bust included an effort in Warwick, R.I., when the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Postal Inspection Service collected 226 boxes containing 4,016 counterfeit jerseys. It also included 160,000 Super Bowl-related memorabilia.

An ESPN "Outside The Lines" investigation has discovered a growing difficulty in stopping counterfeiters. More websites, mostly from China, are selling directly to the consumer. It is a crime to sell counterfeit gear, but not to buy it.

In other Super Bowl news, the Ravens moved practice to the New Orleans Saints' indoor practice facility in Metairie, just a few miles from their downtown hotel.

The Ravens were assigned to work out at Tulane, but with the university football facility under construction, coach John Harbaugh wasn't thrilled with 80-yard makeshift field. Players described the surface as "hard as a rock."

---Green Bay wide receiver Donald Driver, the franchise's all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards, will formally announce his retirement Feb. 6 when the Packers will hold an event at Lambeau Field.

Driver finishes his 14-year career with 743 catches for 10,137 yards and 61 touchdowns. He was used sparingly in 2012, finishing with only eight catches for 77 yards, and he was inactive for six of the team's final eight games.

---NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and CBS analyst Dan Marino fathered a child with a CBS employee nearly eight years ago, and paid millions to keep it a secret, according to a New York Times report.

Marino, who has been married for 28 years and has six children, had an affair with former CBS Sports production assistant Donna Savattere, and a daughter, Chloe, was born in June 2005.

"This is a personal and private matter. I take full responsibility both personally and financially for my actions now as I did then," Marino said in a statement.

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